Chinaski disconnects from standard mixing techniques and delivers a cinematic, mind-altering trip. A reflective journey through mystical samples, cosmic frequencies, eclectic rhythms and ambient landscapes. 

Frankfurt-based DJ and producer Chinaski is one to watch. Powered by a good dose of nostalgia, the characteristic 80’s aesthetics in both his sound direction and visual work are heavily represented throughout his catalog. Having carved out a steady reputation for his more dance floor focussed project with a futuristic brew of cinematic house productions on labels like Live At Robert Johnson, Uncanny Valley and Riotvan, Stefan has found himself exploring deeper territories under his S-F-X alias in recent times.

The Robert Johnson resident’s freshly established S-F-X alias, made its debut with the first full-length album release on Igor Tipura’s fantastic Kitjen imprint, last April. A sample-based power ambient LP, inspired by horror movies on dusty VHS cassettes.

Hey Stefan, good having you here! How have you been and what have you been up to lately?

Hi Joe, thanks! I’m just sitting in my room at a Ryokan in Tsubaki, Japan.

You recently released a new album on Kitjen, titled “S-F-X” – exciting stuff! Tell us a little about the album’s concept and your new alias which it’s being released under.

The last few months I noticed that my work shifted a lot more towards a sounds that, in my mind, is not necessary connected to my Chinaski project, which is more for the dance floor. The music behind S-F-X is much more nerd-ism and involves many sounds that surround me in my daily life. I have this “Button” on my desk. So when I hear a interesting sound on my computer – where ever it comes from – I hit it and record it. I have a huge collection of sounds that trigger me in a special and subconscious way. From time to time when I get bored with myself I go through this material and put it to my E-Mu Emax or Ableton sampler and figure some kind of music out.

The album draws further on the visual aspect of your art and love for soundtracks. What is it about the combination between music and the visual aspect that attracts you most?

It’s the easiest and most effective way to project a picture to the mind. I can fill a meaningless sound with a picture and vice versa. Sometimes I hang around in my studio and nothing comes up, then I start a cool movie and it rolls. Most of the time dark and sleazy movies, of course…

Both in your visual work and music, the 80’s aesthetics is always heavily present. Tell us a little about the characteristics of this time period that inspires you.

I would say it’s very complex, but 2 facts are important for me in connection with the 80s: the nostalgia about my childhood and the really important technological revolution in that decade. Compare a major 70s and 80s record. There are aesthetic worlds between. One of my first memories is pushing on a small, cheap mini Casio keyboard, which has a drum kit, and try to figure out how that kick sounds similar to a kick of a Queen song. No joke!

As the album features samples from horror movies on VHS cassettes, how did you go about finding those samples? Do you’ve some sort of method when digging for material?

When you are a nerd, you wanna see movies that never come out on dvd. Only VHS in the old days.. I have a really great Studio VHS Player. I got it from Ata and I think that’s the one that recorded the Robert Johnson club nights in the first years. And I can’t remember the name of the blog, but years ago I downloaded a lot audio rips from old VHS movies…

Landing on the always exciting Kitjen record label, were you already familiar with label heads Igor Tipura on a personal level before the whole idea of a release came into the picture? And how did the album find its way onto the record label?

All I knew was that the label and Igor come from Stuttgart. Michael Satter, who also helped design the album’s cover art, introduced him to the album and after that he came up with the idea for the release. He is really charming. I like charming label humans.

What would be the most ideal setting to listen to the album?

Best way is night time on a good soundsystem or headphones. Of course naked.

Tell us about this mix you’ve recorded for us? Any special tracks in there you would like to mention?

It’s a mix from S-F-X so it’s much more an album with music from other artists. I try to disconnect from the standart mixing technique – more rough like painting with an inaccurate brush so you don’t hit it with smartphone speaker…most of the time you have lot of tracks playing at the same time.

What’s on the horizon for Chinaski & S-F-X?

I’m working on a Chinaski record for Jennifer Cardini and more S-F-X stuff. Curses send me some crazy lyrics and voice recordings for a collaboration today!

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